Does Rob Manfred even like baseball? It's bizarre thing indeed to ponder given that he's the MLB Commissioner, but given recent returns, it's actually worth asking. Because of the league and its owners' consistent demands for more and more financial concessions from players in order to start the long-delayed 2020 regular season, the idea that fans will be able to see actual games any time soon increasingly feels like a pipe dream.
The players want to play, and they're not negotiating in bad faith. Unfortunately, their latest proposal, which includes an 89-game regular season, is effectively dead on arrival in Manfred's eyes.
Have we actually made any progress here compared to where we were by the end of March? The owners and the MLBPA remain painfully far apart as to not just the length of the season, but also revenue sharing and player salary adjustments. There's no indication that the union's new roadmap has moved the ball forward at all.
That's on Manfred and the owners, whose own proposals have generally inflamed the state of negotiations and been met with nothing less than ire by the players on a consistent basis.
At a certain point, we're just running out of time to figure out how to play games. 162 is out the window. So is 100. Before long, a half-season in the neighborhood of 80 games will be off the table, too.
Baseball fans need a miracle, full stop. And it's not clear that Rob Manfred or the owners he represents are terribly motivated to find one.